This is a partnership between the Morobe Provincial Government and Australian NGO, KTF (Kokoda Track Foundation) with generous support from Newcrest Mining.
KTF are working with the Morobe Department of Education to design and develop an early childhood framework, curriculum and teacher training program for the Province.
Working quickly to implement the Minister for Education’s directive, allocating responsibility for early childhood learning to individual provinces, Governor Ginson Saonu wants fast, practical action to immediately include children aged 2 - 6 into the formal education system and nurture their learning in the formative years.
Governor Saonu was joined for the official project opening by program participants and the KTF team, united for the very first time on a Zoom call for the officiation.
“We must bridge the gap in education and this is the very first bridge to build. This group is building the first bridge,” said Governor Saonu.
“KTF has shown great interest and initiative to work with the education officers of Morobe Province to turn early childhood policies into early childhood curriculum. We are so grateful you have returned again to offer your invaluable technical support, expertise and resources to translate my policy into a working document.”
Dr Genevieve Nelson, CEO of KTF, echoed the Governor’s enthusiasm for the project.
“We are thrilled to be part of this next chapter in Morobe Province. We have been working with the Provincial Education Department since 2016; first by training 534 elementary teachers, and then working with the elementary unit on a professional development and learning exchange program.
“The provincial trainers all came to Australia last year for a professional learning exchange and visited early childhood centres, met with early childhood policy and practice experts and undertook lectures at Western Sydney University.
“We are excited to see the province, under the Governor’s extraordinary leadership, invest in these most crucial early years of learning. These are the years that a child’s brain is still forming, their personality is forming, their ability to self-regulate is being fostered and will set them up for life. This type of investment is one for the future of Morobe.”
The project would not be possible without the support of Newcrest Mining and their long-standing commitment to education in Morobe.
Newcrest’s Chief Operating Officer PNG, Craig Jones, reiterated Newcrest’s ongoing support to KTF by saying: “Newcrest Mining is proud to be able to support such a worthwhile initiative in partnership with KTF. Newcrest understands the importance of education, particularly in early childhood, for the future success of Morobe Province and Papua New Guinea.”
To augment Newcrest’s generous funding of the project, Governor Saonu has also pledged K50,000 towards Morobe’s Teach for Tomorrow, the early years.